Kingdom of Priests

Kingdom of Priests


Slouching Toward Columbine: Darwin’s Tree of Death

posted by David Klinghoffer
176200485_97308d0529.jpg 
I’ve long been fascinated by the image of the Tree of Death, parallel to the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden and cryptically referred to in mystical texts explaining the Hebrew Bible:

And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the Tree of Life also in the midst of the garden, and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 2:9).

Come and behold: as soon as night falls, the Tree of Death rules in the world and the Tree of Life disappears high above. Then the Tree of Death is the sole ruler in the universe, and all inhabitants of the world taste of death (Zohar III:119a).

The image, and today’s gruesome Columbine anniversary, provide an occasion to reflect on Darwinian evolution’s social consequences, from school shootings to Nazi racism and more.
Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution with its Tree of Life is applauded by most sophisticated Americans and Europeans as a scientific idea pure and simple, without the aura of dread and terror that, properly, should surround it in our minds. 
Why should we so regard it? Not necessarily because of any judgment about whether the idea is right or wrong as science, but rather because of the uncanny way evolution has had of supplying the rationale and creating the backdrop for the most twisted, monstrous social movements that have sprung up in Western culture in the past century and half.
On April 20, 1999, two boys at Columbine High School in Colorado massacred 12 fellow students and a teacher, wounding 23 as well before shooting themselves. The 10th anniversary with its morbid recollections is upon us, but there’s one aspect of the horrible memory that you can be sure you will not hear much about.
When one of the assailants, Eric Harris, was autopsied, the medical examiner found that under his black trench coat the boy had on a white t-shirt emblazoned with a peculiar slogan. The slogan was “Natural Selection.” It was later reported but little commented upon that, on his website, Harris had written, among other paeans to the Darwinian mechanism, “Natural SELECTION!!!!!! God damn it’s the best thing that ever happened to the earth. Getting rid of all the stupid and weak organisms…but it’s all natural!!! YES!” 

Columbine became the most notorious of school shootings, inspiring imitators including Pekka Eric Auvinen, a Finnish high school student. On November 7, 2007, Auvinen showed up at his own school, Jokela High in Tuusula, Finland, with a small-caliber handgun. He proceeded to massacre seven fellow students and the school headmistress, wounding ten others, before shooting himself.
On a website, it was later learned, he described himself as an “anti-social social-Darwinist,” declaring that “I am prepared to fight and die for my cause. I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see unfit, disgraces of human race and failures of natural selection.” The youth also posted videos on YouTube, some dominated by Nazi imagery, others evoking more recent stories of mass slaughter, including Columbine.
In media discussion of both stories, the ready availability of firearms was the theme most frequently commented upon and lamented. Protesting against the national “gun culture” was the point of Michael Moore’s critically acclaimed and commercially successful documentary film Bowling for Columbine. As in the United States, gun-ownership in Finland is common. News reports about the Jokela attack emphasized this detail.
Harris and Auvinen picked up their interest in what we may call applied Darwinism from the skinhead and Neo-Nazi subculture, which is full of similar talk. Whether on aggressively Hitlerian web sites like Stormfront.org or in the comparatively restrained writings of the popular Louisiana racist David Duke, discussions of evolution and white supremacy are a common theme. 
As a culture, we have trained ourselves not to notice such things. Yet theoreticians of racist imperialism, Marxism, Hitlerism, and modern pseudo-scientific eugenics have all cited Darwinian theory, its subsuming of man among the kingdom of the animals, as an inspiration. I’ve written a lot on these themes, conveniently collected over at Evolution News & Views.
Closer to home, in America in the 21st century, evolutionary theory lends support to moral relativism and the increasingly widespread notion that a human being possesses no more innate dignity than any other beast. Evolutionary theory has undermined the once universal belief in human exceptionalism, the idea that there is something inherently sacred in being a human. That belief once granted the right of protection to unborn children, handicapped adults, and disabled senior citizens.
People are blunter about this in Europe than we are in the U.S. Thus Baroness Mary Warnock, hailed by the London Daily Telegraph as “Britain’s leading moral philosopher,” argues that Alzheimer patients have a “duty to die.” In a 2008 interview, she said that assisted suicide for Britain’s 700,000 citizens suffering from dementia is the right course.
Borrowing language familiar to veterinarians, Lady Warnock commented, “I think that’s the way the future will go, putting it rather brutally, you’d be licensing people to put others down.” In a 2008 book, Easeful Death: Is There a Case for Assisted Suicide? (Oxford University Press), Lady Warnock explained that “Gradually, since Darwin, we have become accustomed to placing human beings among the other animals, and all animals among the rest of nature.” Such thinking, though it retains its power to shock, represents the bioethical frontier.
This widespread failure to distinguish between people and animals is a moral disease we may call animalism. Both the elite and mass media are rife with it. When New York governor Eliot Spitzer was disgraced and forced out of office by a 2008 prostitution scandal, New York Times science reporter Natalie Angier leapt into the fray of the controversy with an article pointing out in detail how common adultery and even sex-for-hire are in the animal kingdom.
The star authority in the piece was a chortling University of Washington psychology professor, David Barash, author of The Myth of Monogamy, who pointed out that the only animal that seems not to cheat on its mate is a kind of flatworm that resides in the gills of some freshwater fish. “Sexual promiscuity is rampant throughout nature, and true faithfulness a fond fantasy,” reasoned Angier, so why the big fuss about Spitzer’s dalliances?
Darwinism’s modern day advocates prefer to forget that ideas have consequences. Yet even a scientific idea may have disastrous consequences, as Darwin’s earliest critics foresaw. One such prophet was Darwin’s own professor of natural science when he was at Cambridge, Adam Sedgwick. 
In a letter to Darwin dated December 24, 1859, just after the Origin of Species had been published, Sedgwick warned that if the new book were successful in making its case, then “humanity, in my mind, would suffer a damage that might brutalize it, and sink the human race into a lower grade of degradation than any into which it has fallen since its written records tell us of its history.”
A bit melodramatic, but otherwise on the mark. Whatever its merits as a scientific idea, evolution’s Tree of Life has been revealed in many ways, in the most practical and painful terms, as a Tree of Death.


Advertisement
Comments read comments(59)
post a comment
Ne

posted April 20, 2009 at 9:37 am


Oh dear. So when some lowlife decides to quote from Darwin before killing innocent people, then he is living up to Darwin’s work. However when people kill from religious motives (and I am sure you do not need any examples) then they are distorting the religion ?! How does that work ?
Oh and by the way regarding your Hitler-as-Darwinist comparison, here is a little quote to give you something to think about:
“I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord..”
I understand why you would be against the scientific principles of evolution and you are not the first. Like all the great scientific discoveries, this one has also removed the humans from the central stage in the world and like those before him (Copernicus, Galileo) the religious institutions were against it.



report abuse
 

Vox Populi

posted April 20, 2009 at 10:55 am


Your thesis fails on a very basic level. Murder — whether at Columbine or by Cain or the Third Reich — is not natural selection. In natural selection, humans do not get to make the choice about which people or other organisms live and which die.



report abuse
 

Lars

posted April 20, 2009 at 11:25 am


@Vox Populi,
At first glance you would seem to have a point, that Harris and Auvinen are not natural selectors but artificial ones. However this presupposes a point that Darwinism undermines: namely, that there is somehow a difference between humans and animals. If humans are just animals, then how are a human’s actions (e.g. as a killer) any less “natural” than animals’? In the Darwinian view, Harris and Auvinen are no less natural than lions or malaria parasites.
This shows another way in which Darwin’s legacy, when taken to its logical consequences, degrades our ability to make moral distinctions. On the victim’s side, not only does it deprive humans of the dignity that should protect them from being victimized; it also, on the perpetrator’s side, removes a basis for condemning heinous human acts like murder, since an animal cannot be judged for making moral decisions.
Thanks, David, for a thought-provoking article.



report abuse
 

bornagain77

posted April 20, 2009 at 11:48 am


This timely blog is of related interest: Quote of the Day : http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/quote-of-the-day-3/#comments;……..The Black Book of Communism ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Book_of_Communism ……….. 20TH CENTURY
DEMOCIDE ; http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/20TH.HTM ……….; From Darwin to Hitler ; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_5EwYpLD6A ; ……….personal note to Ne; If Hitler ever served any god that god was Satan!



report abuse
 

Gary Nubrow

posted April 20, 2009 at 11:53 am


Hopelessly irrelevant.
Darwin could have eaten babies for breakfast, and it wouldn’t change the fact that all humans and apes share the same ancestor.
But I’m sure the author of this piece (and others like it) know that full well as they try to make false appeals to people’s base emotions to further their erroneous worldview.



report abuse
 

Turmarion

posted April 20, 2009 at 12:20 pm


This is the key sentence that stands out in the post (emphasis added):
Why should we so regard [Darwinian evolution]? Not necessarily because of any judgment about whether the idea is right or wrong as science, but rather because of the uncanny way evolution has had of supplying the rationale and creating the backdrop for the most twisted, monstrous social movements that have sprung up in Western culture in the past century and half.
So in essence David is saying that even if evolution is scientifically correct, it is evil and should be regarded with an “aura of dread and terror” because of the social movements it has purportedly helped to create.
It seems too obvious to have to mention, but it seems to me that the first order of business is to see if Darwinian evolution, or the neo-Darwinian synthesis, is actually correct scientifically. Then we deal with consequences. Evolution is not perfect (no scientific model is), but no serious professional scientist of any stature, regardless of his or her personal beliefs, doubts the basic validity of evolutionary theory.
Having said this, I return to another David, David Hume, who pointed out that one can never legitimately derive an “ought” statement from an “is” statement. It is true that humans are often violent; therefore, violence ought to be acceptable, right? Of course not. This is the fallacy often encountered with proponents of a “natural” lifestyle. Such people will argue that we should do X because it’s “natural”; but when you point out that Y, which is unpleasant, is equally “natural”, all of a sudden the proponent says that we aren’t limited by our genes and can make our own choices. It’s like when Dawkins says that we are all just devices to propagate genes, and then turns around and says that we don’t have to be slaves to them. A little philosophical consistency, please?
Having said something negative about Dawkins (whom I don’t much like), let me be clear–his problem is not that he believes in evolution, but that he draws incorrect and inconsistent conclusions from that belief.
In any case, David (Klinghoffer this time, not Hume) seems to want to have it both ways. As I understand it, he argues for intelligent design and, presumably, is a young-Earth creationist (I am willing to be corrected on this). But he is explicit here that his revulsion for evolution is independent of its truth or falsity. Now if it’s false, it’s false; but this is to be determined on the basis of evidence, not emotional preference; and there is no good scientific evidence that it’s false, any more than there is for a flat Earth or a geocentric cosmos.
On the other hand, if it is indeed true, the issue is not to cover it with an “aura of dread”, but to think clearly and realize that the problem is not the concept, but us when we draw inappropriate conclusions from it.
Of course, it is a legitimate question as to whether the various ideologies (Nazism, etc.) which David and others (such as Ben Stein) blame on evolution are, in fact, derivative of it. I’d say that this point, is, to say the least, highly debatable. However, even if you argued that this is the case, consider: In his various books and articles, Sam Harris makes pretty much the exact same arguments about religion. That is, it is the intrinsic root of most evil. I disagree with him, but given Crusades, jihads, such charming passages of the Tanakh as Joshua 10:34-40 and plenty of others in which the slaughter of men, women, and children is commanded, and so on and so forth, I think he has at least as strong an argument as those who blame Hitler on Darwin. So should we cover religion with an “aura of dread”? As a religious person myself, I for one don’t think so.
In conclusion: I frequent Rod Dreher’s blog a lot, and there has been a whole lot of ruckus about same-sex marriage lately, to the point that some regulars have accused the blog of turning into a gay issues blog instead of something with a broader focus. Many of the posts here have been very interesting, and I am always interested in getting a traditional Jewish perspective on contemporary issues (though being a Gentile myself). I hope this doesn’t become a “bash Darwin” blog, when there are so many more interesting and important issues out there.



report abuse
 

Steve

posted April 20, 2009 at 1:24 pm


David wrote: “Why should we so regard it? Not necessarily because of any judgment about whether the idea is right or wrong as science, but rather because of the uncanny way evolution has had of supplying the rationale and creating the backdrop for the most twisted, monstrous social movements that have sprung up in Western culture in the past century and half.”
David, the tree of life is true. That’s just the way it is. Some of my ancestors are fish. You are going to have to deal with that. Just suck it up.
For the sake of argument, let’s say that some people believing that some of their ancestors are fish contributed to their doing bad things. That is completely irrelevant to whether I know or am warranted in inferring that some of my ancestors are fish. Analogously, perhaps some people believing that the earth is not shaped like a pancake contributed to their doing bad things. But I’m quite sure the earth is not shaped like a pancake.
David, you’ve got to focus on this point and come to terms with it. Take a deep breath and focus on it.



report abuse
 

GHitch

posted April 20, 2009 at 1:25 pm


Great post.
Of course the Darwinists deny it all; as though no logical link exists between ‘artificial selection’ and Darwinism.
Really. No distortion of his theory is required to bring one to Lady Warnock’s conclusions. No distortion is needed to lead to the obvious conclusion that, if correct, Darwinism must necessarily mean that human life is no more sacred than that of a worm.
Now that we’ve seen Darwinists writing books and making comments that state in no uncertain terms that rape is an ‘evolutionary adaptation’ (Randy Thornhill and Craig T. Palmer) and that bestiality is just fine – (Peter Singer – prof. of Bioethics at Princeton University). Darwin predicted the slaughter of blacks and ‘savages’ by whites. His prediction was based entirely upon the logical conclusions of his theory. “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.” (Darwin, C.R., “The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex,” [1871])
Blind and ignorant as the Darwinists are, ignore them and keep posting the obvious truth David.



report abuse
 

Mythman

posted April 20, 2009 at 1:29 pm


@Turmarion:
“It’s like when Dawkins says that we are all just devices to propagate genes, and then turns around and says that we don’t have to be slaves to them. A little philosophical consistency, please?”
This IS consistent. BIOLOGICALLY, all we are are vehicles for replicating DNA. But our brains are big enough that we can think things through and decide that we don’t have to go around mindlessly reproducing all the time.
It’s like sugar. We like the way it tastes because long ago our ancestors who liked it ate it, and they had more energy to use to survive better.



report abuse
 

Steve

posted April 20, 2009 at 2:54 pm


David, the rate of belief that evolution is true and that humans descended from non-human organisms is much higher in the Scandinavian countries and Iceland than it is in the U.S. And violent crime rates are much lower in the Scandinavian countries and Iceland than they are in the U.S. Perhaps this correlation is some reason to believe that the belief that evolution is true does not tend to make it more difficult for people, in general, to be ethical.
Moreover, I believe that some of my ancestors are fish, and I’m an ethical person. Everyone in my family believes that some of their ancestors are fish, and they are all ethical people.
In addition, I’m an atheist, and I’m an ethical person. Every person I know well who is an atheist is an ethical person.
However, for the sake of argument, let’s say that, for some people, believing that bacteria that was on earth about 3.5 billion years ago evolved into all the complex organisms that have lived on earth makes it harder for them to be ethical. That is, of course, completely irrelevant to whether I know — or am warranted in inferring — that bacteria that was on earth about 3.5 billion years ago evolved into all the complex organisms that have lived on earth. Analogously, perhaps some people’s believing that heliocentrism is true made it harder for them to be ethical. I’m still quite sure that the earth revolves around the sun.



report abuse
 

Turmarion

posted April 20, 2009 at 3:13 pm


GHitch: [I]f correct, Darwinism must necessarily mean that human life is no more sacred than that of a worm.
Not at all. Consider–in the Middle Ages it was thought that angels kept the planets in motion. This actually went all the way back to Aristotle, who believed that intelligences moved the spheres. Based on Aristotle’s understanding of physics, that actually made sense. Then, about two millennia later, Newton showed that gravity was a sufficient explanation not only for the observation that objects fall to the ground, but for the motion of the planets.
Did demonstrating that the planets moved because of an impersonal, natural force instead of by the action of the angels of God somehow take God “out” of Creation? Did it make the world no longer sacred? Was the cosmos no more than a blind machine? Did this set the stage to unleash godlessness, disbelief, and immorality? Of course not.
Likewise, evolution merely shows how life develops over time as a result of natural laws of various sorts. Contra many on both sides of the debate, it does not have anything to say about how those laws, life, and the universe itself came to be. It is perfectly consistent to say that God made the universe, but set it up in such a way that his designs are accomplished through what seems to us to be random, natural processes (though ultimately nothing is truly “random”).
Of course, I guess one could say, with Darwin himself, that the savagery and waste implied by natural selection doesn’t seem to square with a provident God. On the other hand, if you reject evolution, that still leaves an awful lot of savagery in the world, not to mention cancer, tsetse flies, dysentery, birth defects, and so on. God doesn’t seem to come off much better. I think you can defend God’s goodness, but it certainly doesn’t stand or fall on the truth or falsity of evolution.
I don’t doubt that many do use evolution as an excuse for their barbarity–anyone who’s studied history knows about Social Darwinism in the Guilded Age. However, the same type of blackguard who used “survival of the fittest” as an excuse for screwing the poor and looking out for number one then would have argued the same thing on the basis of “divine rights of the nobility” in the Renaissance or being part of the elect in Calvinist Geneva or being favored by Marduk in Babylon…you get the picture. Someone is always going to use the current ideology to justify their bad behavior. That doesn’t of itself invalidate the ideology.
Mythman: This IS consistent. BIOLOGICALLY, all we are are vehicles for replicating DNA. But our brains are big enough that we can think things through and decide that we don’t have to go around mindlessly reproducing all the time.
I would refer you to the chapter on the main difficulty of naturalism in C. S. Lewis’s Miracles. If we are completely determined by our biology and our environment, then any sense of freedom we have is an illusion. We may think we “can think things through and decide we don’t have to go around mindlessly reproducing all the time,”, but that’s just what we might be programmed to think, isn’t it? For that matter, if we are totally determined by nature, how do we even know that what we think is true? The blind cave fish of Mammoth Cave are “programmed” to be unable to see. For them, light does not exist–for them it is “true” to say that there is no such thing as light. Thus, unless you assume some objective reality, there is no way I can know that I am correct in my beliefs and perceptions, since I may just be “programmed” that way. But, if nature and nurture “program” us, the only way out to an objective reality is the transcendent–i.e. the Divine.
I don’t necessarily expect a committed materialist to buy this argument, and I am well aware that Lewis had to modify it somewhat after his famous debate with Elizabeth Anscombe. However, I think that the argument overall holds up quite well (as well as being a little skeptical as to whether Anscombe’s criticisms were as strong as they are often portrayed as being), so I think it valid to see Dawkins’s arguments as being inconsistent. You can’t say that we’re gene-reproducing automatons and simultaneously hold that we can make our own decisions.



report abuse
 

Turmarion

posted April 20, 2009 at 3:19 pm


Sorry for the second post, but I forgot this before I made the other. To argue for a connection between Columbine and Darwinism makes no more sense per se than to argue that the Unitarian Church shooting proves that conservative Christianity, or the Republican Party, or living in the Bible Belt catalyzes violence. I mena, come on.



report abuse
 

clasqm

posted April 20, 2009 at 3:27 pm


Lars: ” In the Darwinian view, Harris and Auvinen are no less natural than lions or malaria parasites.”
Well, then, and the police sniper who takes them out of the gene pool, or the judge who sends them off to where they won’t get a chance to breed, ever, are equally part of the natural order. Reductio ad absurdum arguments are fun, but they don’t actually get your arrgument any further.



report abuse
 

Glen Davidson

posted April 20, 2009 at 3:30 pm


The primary issue in science is that of explanation. How do we explain Klebold and Harris?
Did religion save either Harris or Klebold? Did Klebold’s religious encounters possibly cause reaction in him?
But what if it did?
Surely the real issue pressing upon us is the fact that humans do kill, generally in relation to social conditions. These conditions may include religion, or they may include Social Darwinism. So, do we have any reason to suspect that we’d be worse off facing a threat from atheists, or from anti-evolutionist Muslim fundamentalists?
Indeed, we might be threatened by either one, the former during the cold war, the latter now. Ought we, though, to at least credit Stalin for persecuting “Darwinism,” and favoring Lysenkoism? Why? Did Lysenkoism mute Stalin’s attacks and purges, and did “Darwinism” cause Krushchev, Brezhnev, and Gorbachev to be worse than Stalin? Clearly not.
The fact of the matter is that people do kill, and ideas do matter. It seems very unlikely, though, that suppressing “Darwinism” would do anything except to bolster the forces of repression, potentially leading to a blow-up like a nuclear war. Indeed, the anti-Darwinist Stalin is said to have been contemplating nuclear war with the US shortly before his welcome death.
We are much more likely to understand Klebold and Harris according to science, including causal evolution, what Klinghoffer calls “Darwinism.” The fact is that religion has done little or nothing to explain violence among organisms, while evolutionary theory appears to be have addressed these matters relatively well, if not especially well in complex human society. And yet, issues of group competition, and fighting for mates, appear to underlie much of human violence, and these make sense in an evolutionary scenario, while “design” tells us nothing.
That said, possibly Sam Wilberforce’s wife was correct when she reputedly stated of Darwin’s theory, “Let us hope it is not true. But if it is, let us hope it does not become widely known.” Yet even if one agreed with that statement, the fact is that it is widely known, it is the only explanatory theory in biology–potentially having explanatory value in understanding Klebold and Harris–and suppression of the theory have generally come from the repressive and the potentially violent.
We should not go down that road.
Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/6mb592



report abuse
 

Juha Leinivaara

posted April 20, 2009 at 3:42 pm


Columbine shooters and Pekka-Eric Auvinen got one simple philosophical detail wrong in a spectacular way. By murdering other people they were, infact, intelligent agents, using desing to accomplish a preset goal. They may have believed it was natural selection, but clearly it wasn’t.



report abuse
 

clasqm

posted April 20, 2009 at 3:48 pm


“The blind cave fish of Mammoth Cave are “programmed” to be unable to see. For them, light does not exist–for them it is “true” to say that there is no such thing as light.”
And we are unable to perceive light in the X-Ray spectrum, therefore, for us, X-Rays do not exist? The fish, were they intelligent enough, might examine other species and observe that they had extra sensory equipment on their heads. From this they might infer the existence of a kind of energy called, tentatively, “light”. They might even construct machinery to act as crude external sensory organs to capture this energy and convert it into a sound analogue that they could perceive.
The fish, alas, are not smart enough to do this. But we are, apparently. We can use machines as crude external sensory organs to detect X-Rays, or neutrino emissions, or infrasound. We’ve even learned to emit some of these things ourselves, via other machines. So I think it is safe to say that we have transcended our programming to that extent.
“But, if nature and nurture “program” us, the only way out to an objective reality is the transcendent–i.e. the Divine.”
I’m sorry, how is replacing a mundane “programmer” with a transcendent one in any sense a way out? All the objections you’ve raised to a sense of freewill apply just as much to the theist case, and in fact, that is where they were first raised. We could be completely pre-determined by the divine, with an illusion of freewill predeterminedly built in. The Muslims tend to be a bit more honest on that issue, actually.



report abuse
 

Glen Davidson

posted April 20, 2009 at 4:12 pm


I should have written something like this:

it [evolution] is the only general explanatory theory in biology

Carry on.
Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/6mb592



report abuse
 

Chuck_Darwin

posted April 20, 2009 at 6:56 pm


David, That is the most absurd, self serving justification for hatred that I have read in a long while.
You hold two troubled, social misfits up as examples of the immorality of Darwinism, yet you conveniently forget that for thousands and thousands of years every major and minor religion, Christianity most definitely included, has wantonly killed anyone who disagreed with them. Not as a result of a few aberrant, pshychopaths, but as basic tenets of belief.



report abuse
 

Turmarion

posted April 20, 2009 at 7:04 pm


clasqm: All the objections you’ve raised to a sense of freewill apply just as much to the theist case, and in fact, that is where they were first raised.
True enough. My original point was that it is contradictory for, say, Richard Dawkins to say that we are mere reproduction devices for genes (which implies we have no free will) and then to turn around and say that we don’t have to be bound by our genes. It is also a contradiction to say that our nature is purely determined by nature (hard naturalism) when this would imply that we could never truly trust our own perceptions, even if we have higher intelligence and more interesting devices.
I might also add that for all we know, we are programmed to find out how to develop machines to detect X-rays. That doesn’t necessarily indicate we are transcending our programming.
At least in the realm of theology, the question is debated in a more direct fashion. Different religions answer the question differently: Islam and classic Calvinism, on the one hand, tend to be determinist, whereas Catholicism and churches influenced by Arminianism, on the other, tend to acknowledge free will.
The question is obviously unanswerable. However, it seems to me that any determinist system, be it genetic or Calvinist, leaves us as robots who don’t even really choose whether or not to debate the issue and make blog posts. Anyone who says that we can overcome our genes, or that we must follow God’s will, and at the same time says that our actions are determined, is talking nonsense. Determinism also leaves no room for moral responsibility (so-called “soft determinists” think it does, but I think this view is incoherent).
Thus, we each “pays our money and makes our choice”, so to speak. I choose free will. Maybe I’m wrong, but the alternative seems dehumanizing, and I think human dignity and worth are good concepts which you can’t have in a determinist system.



report abuse
 

Chuck_Darwin

posted April 20, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Your Name

posted April 20, 2009 at 8:04 pm


Klinghoffer’s essay is incorrectly titled. The proper title is “Slouching Toward Columbine: Intelligent Design’s Tree of Death.”
After all, one cannot dispute that every example he cites is that of an intelligent agent attempting to impose design.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted April 20, 2009 at 9:34 pm


Right on David, I am a late comer to the faults of the Darwinian religion. As a Mechanical Engineer, I am well versed in the sciences with special knowledge of higher mathematics, mechanics and chemistry but with little interest in biology until the past three years, after I retired from the business world.
I guess like most people, I was never exposed to the truth about the published evidence or should I say the lack of evidence to support Darwin’s Evolutionary Theory. I must say as I read more and more books about evolution, Biology and Intelligent Design, I was amazed by what is not taught in our government schools about the Theory of Evolution.
I would never have believed all the errors, made up evidence, fraudulent published stories and fairy tales made up by Darwinists to influence our young and impressive children as they go through school. It forces one to try to understand why the Evolutionists are so cult like in their actions. As I read the comments to articles, I am embarrassed by the language used by some of those that support the Theory of Evolution. One can actually feel the hatred in some of their remarks when they feel threatened by a non-believer.
As I became more sure, after having read everything I could get my hands on about the Theory of Evolution and the Theory of Intelligent Design, I have participated in making comments to some articles. As you well know, I was subjected to hatred and vitriol from the Darwinists. They seem fearful that someone might read an opposing point of view and thus would somehow wound them in the process.
In any case, keep up the good work, every little bit helps. I admire people like you, that fight the fight in spite of hatred expressed by those that disagree with you.
tfagan



report abuse
 

R Hampton

posted April 20, 2009 at 9:44 pm


Thomas Jefferson on Reason & Christianity
…our rulers can have authority over such natural rights only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
…Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth. Let us reflect that it is inhabited by a thousand millions of people. That these profess probably a thousand different systems of religion. That ours is but one of that thousand. That if there be but one right, and ours that one, we should wish to see the 999 wandering sects gathered into the fold of truth. But against such a majority we cannot effect this by force.
http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/JEFFERSON/ch17.html



report abuse
 

Chuck_Darwin

posted April 20, 2009 at 10:07 pm


tfagan there is nothing sadder than an educated idiot.
The science of evolution is well established and well founded. Hiding your head in the sand won’t make it go away.



report abuse
 

J Maxwell

posted April 20, 2009 at 10:25 pm


To: tfagan, the reason for the evolutionist’s hatred is the challenge you present to their own sense of intellectual superiority. If you feel you’re superior, you cannot be one of the masses, you must stand-out, attack, accuse, engage in moral posturing to keep proving to yourself your superior. You absolutely never can admit to being wrong because it calls into question your whole sense of self worth. Many teenagers have to go through this narcissistic stage before they realize that their feet too are made of clay. Unforturnately, when societies reach a certain comfort level this maturation process is suppressed and you end up with the mental narcissists of my generation (the 60s). Mark Twain said it well, “When I was 16, my father was so stupid, I could hardly stand to be in the same room with him, but by the time I was 21, I was amazed at how much he had learned.”
To: Rhampton, Yes Jefferson was no Christian. Are you not surprized? He lived like a god in an imitation Greek temple, surrounded by human property to satisfy his whims. It kind of ratifies the concept that intelligence and enlightenment doesn’t make people good. Yes, he could rationalize his behavior by pointing to abuses committed in the name of religion, like that’s never happened before in history. Gott mit Ums! The point is Christianity never sanctioned the abuses committed in its name. Where in the Gospels does it say burn heretics? Christianity most definately was about free will. Why did jesus bother talking to people, all sorts of people from Roman soldiers, to Sumeritans to prostitutes, trying to reason with them?



report abuse
 

BSME, PE

posted April 20, 2009 at 10:44 pm


Lying in the service of Christ is a special sort of sin.
Discovery Institute, if your God is so small that he fails before the slightest evidence, then you worship no God at all.
Perhaps your understanding is lacking. Perhaps your trust in God falls short. But if, to make your case, you must call white black and up down, you have no case at all.
Please stop this nonsense.



report abuse
 

Josh

posted April 20, 2009 at 11:33 pm


Your fanatical desire to attack the theory of natural selection has led you to make some extremely ridiculous logical errors. It would be a waste of energy explaining them to you in text, because you clearly don’t want a conversation on the subject. You want to proselytize. However, for those readers who might still be on the fence:
This argument is predicated on the idea that when people do evil while invoking Darwin’s name, it is damning evidence against Darwin’s conclusions. Please keep in mind, though, that bad people have…again and again throughout history and still today…unjustly killed and exploited others in the name of God. Does that reflect poorly on God, or does it mean that they misunderstand his message?
I think we know the answer to that.



report abuse
 

R Hampton

posted April 20, 2009 at 11:35 pm


J Maxwell,
Where in the “On the Origin of Species” does it say burn heretics or build concentration camps?
You can’t have it both ways, so if you want to argue that Evolutionary theory is bad for society because of how it is misused/misunderstood, then it’s fair game to measure Christianity by the same standards.



report abuse
 

David Klinghoffer

posted April 21, 2009 at 12:04 am


You haven’t read Darwin on the “extermination” of savages. Christianity produced evil and good. I can’t think of a Darwin-inspired social movement that produced good. Can you?



report abuse
 

Damien

posted April 21, 2009 at 1:02 am


“You haven’t read Darwin on the “extermination” of savages. Christianity produced evil and good. I can’t think of a Darwin-inspired social movement that produced good. Can you?”
David, the theory of evolution is a scientific theory that deals with the diversity of genetic information from one generation to the next. It being transformed into some sort of pseudo society model for humans by individuals – if this ever has been the case,does not and will not affect evolutions scientific veracity.
What next are you going to suggest in you next column ? ” The theory for light and colour is the cause of racism !!”



report abuse
 

David Klinghoffer

posted April 21, 2009 at 1:09 am


Damien: It’s simply enough reason to take a second, critical look at Darwinian theory; not enough to reject it, obviously.



report abuse
 

the_qball

posted April 21, 2009 at 1:20 am


There seems to be a real misunderstanding of natural selection here, not just on the part of the anti-Darwinists and the junk written here, but also on the part of those writing to promote darwinism.
Natural selection is not a method to cut off a particular being from the gene pool. The Darwin awards are hilarious but they are just a joke. Natural Selection, as Darwin understood it involved a whole species with random changes and mutations, not individuals, not even whole races. That term race is a human construct devised by social groups to create patterns of us and them. I am not against those social constructs since they are a way to create identity or common purpose but they are often subverted to provide reason for war or ethnic cleansing. At best race is cosmetic, and not particularly effective a tool in natural selection. Natural selection involves multiple mutations and changes that benefit a species but cannot be slimmed down to individuals any more than a species could survive with little more than a handful of progenitors. Mutations although random cannot be cursory, they tend to have a pattern from previous changes, and therefore more than one organism will exhibit the same meaningful changes. The selection process is not by predator/prey relationships, although that was one of Darwin’s simplest and quite frankly poorest examples, the importance of natural selection is the organism/habitat relationship. See the problem with Darwin’s example which he recognized and was quick to point out was that as the prey change so too must the predator’s, thus making any change insignificant except those which change the placement of the creature in the food chain, and those are almost entirely body mass changes. Natural selection is a process by which organisms survive as a species or strictly as a genus through environmental changes: availibility of food (including the predator/prey reciprocal evolution), weather, water availibility, temperature.
Meaning that those who use the term natural selection to believe it is some universal will to “might makes right” ignore two independent clauses: changes are generational and changes often make the species smaller. They ignore the entire thought process behind natural selection which is that it doesn’t matter the death of one being in the greater cycle of birth death and rebirth. It only matters if their particular mutation exists somewhere else in the afghan of human existence, and if the mutation is successful. Any one individual is meaningless to natural selection, there is no keystone figure that you can eliminate to prevent some cross species change.
The reason I say both sides are incorrect is that darwinists/ant-darwinists tend to lump natural selection and evolution together. they are not simulacrums, that is to say they are not the same thing viewed from two different angles. they are two different theories, presented simultaneously, one being a facet of the other. Some believe that you cannot have natural selection without evolution or vice versa but while being somewhat interdependent they are still independent. That’s part of the problem Darwin’s original naysayers had with evolution, he lumped them together and ignored that each could exist without the other, never explaining that it is the combination that makes them correct to the history of the world. Natural selection could exist without evolution as it would still be a choosing of preferred characteristics within a species that does not change generationally, and evolution could be random without natural selection. However the reason it is important for both to exist in looking at history is that evolution is not random, it is conditional to habitat, a process of natural selection through which a species prolongs or increases its chances of survival especially during tumultuous cataclysms and that is what makes the very idea that any person could impact the selection process laughable. Unless he was somehow able to bump off every mutation, or he killed off the last of a species, a human’s actions as a predator, yeah even a predator to other humans, is just nature, not natural selection. Anyone who spent five minutes reading darwin would know this, as would anyone spending five minutes reading most religious texts would know that war is not demanded by most religions. It is the people looking for excuses for their own actions who see the terms natural selection as a determinist manifesto without reading what that term means.
The reason this blog lacks the intelligence and reasoning I expect from a well thought creationist or even intelligent design argument is that it uses heresay evidence (tattoos) as proof of some fundamental thought process behind criminal activity among youth, when those same youths also had tattoos on their body proclaiming the wisdom of the church, and the NAZI symbol itself is also power symbol often referred to in NAZI text to represent the pure cross, or christian holy symbol. This automatically sets their reasoning up for inspection and is self trumping, as the reasoning here is “if they have the tattoo then they must believe, belief is tantamount to cause” In this case he argues that they have a Darwin-based tattoo, which means they believe in Darwin and that belief in Darwin caused them to kill children. the columbine student murderers and Murderers with similar tattoos also have had betty boop tattoos, US Military designs, crosses, and Celtic lattices, does that mean baby boomer cartoons, the Army, Christianity and Ireland makes people kill children. Equally ridiculous statement.
If you are trying to justify a rant against darwin, evolution or natural selection at least use reason in your arguments and not examples that are self refuting or have obvious flaws. You could have argued that darwinistic dogma predicates species changes over a short time period and that does not exist among humans as far as we can tell historically or that natural selection itself argues for some type of deus ex machina to make that selection thereby making it holy, or even that there is no greater refute of scientific evidence then the lack of evidence pointing towards evolution, all of these are perfectly reasonable arguments that don’t rely on shaky claims about body art and a belief system. I know a guy with an I heart Dolly Tattoo which is due to a miscommunication between him and the tattooer when he said Molly. That does not mean he loves a girl named dolly, it just means he has a tattoo proclaiming that he does.
@tfagan: really? That’s all you have? You haven’t been interested in biology for your entire career and you only recently learned biology. It’s hard to believe you have given much more than a cursory look at Darwin, evolution or even natural selection as the total number of current works out there numbers in the thousands and the fifteen or so seminal works that set the standard for evolution theories are rather difficult to find and equally laborious to read. Heck one of the books that sets the standard for academic thought on evolution almost requires a degree in dentistry. I doubt you have spent the same time looking at those works as you have in reading the persuasive works of those who rail against evolution like the guy who pretty much started intelligent design. I Would suggest before you continue reading either direction if you really want to hear a nuts and bolts argument for evolution vs intelligent design read the case presented for the kitzmiller vs dover public school decision. Here both sides of the debate were given trial time to discuss their prospective cases, you’ll find that evolution won for a reason that your engineering mind can appreciate. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/kitzmiller_v_dover.html
@ J maxwell: you credit Jefferson with the wrong architecture, as his architect took the designs from Roman temples and it was known as Roman Neo classicism. I believe you will also find that it does indeed suggest burning of heretics in the new testament although it is not found in the gospels. I wonder if you were intending irony when you suggested that Darwinists acted superior when you were acting superior to darwinists. Either way good twain quote



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted April 21, 2009 at 1:35 am


Don’t worry, BSME-PE, this author is definitely not lying in the service of Christ.



report abuse
 

Turmarion

posted April 21, 2009 at 8:13 am


David: Christianity produced evil and good. I can’t think of a Darwin-inspired social movement that produced good. Can you?
Aren’t the issues of whether evolution of some type or other is true and what, if any, sociological effects may derive from it, separate questions?
Some have argued (cf. C. S. Lewis’s book, The Discarded Image) that the rise of the Newtonian view of the universe was the beginning of a process of alienation of Western man. Rather than the tightly ordered, geocentric cosmos where God providentially and directly ordered all things (e.g. sending angels to move the planets), there was now an impersonal, gigantic universe centered nowhere, with all motion produced by impersonal forces. The universe was no longer a place in which man could feel at home.
Now I would actually agree, to some extent, with this analysis. There is one highly important thing to note, however: Isaac Newton was correct. However much we may prefer the Medieval cosmology (and I think it is aesthetically and emotionally more satisfying, myself), the fact is that the cosmos is not geocentric, the Earth is a little, teeny part of it all, and angels do not move the planets. The truth is the truth, and we have to deal with it. We have to learn to see God acting in the universe as it is, not as we’d like it to be.
In your quote that I put in my 12:20 post above, you seem to be saying that whether evolution has been proved by science isn’t the issue–we should view it with “dread” because of its implications. By this logic, should be also view the heliocentric cosmos or the law of gravity with “dread”? One could make a fairly strong case that they helped lay the groundwork of the Enlightenment, out of which came many of the secularist and anti-religious movements that are still with us. But isn’t that just shooting the messenger?
The issue isn’t what science shows to be true or false or likely or unlikely. The issue is what we do about it. It seems to me that attacking evolution as a scientific idea is counterproductive and that the energy wasted would be better spent developing a view of God compatible with the known universe.



report abuse
 

mikev6

posted April 21, 2009 at 10:27 am


Normally I would weigh in here with comments on the usual logical gaps and errors on this sort of analysis of Darwin’s theory. However, there is a more serious issue here that causes me to put that aside.
I think this article is dangerous. School shootings like Columbine are complex events that arise from multiple causes and interactions. An excellent analysis by Dave Cullen can be found at http://www.slate.com/id/2099203/ where he examines the factors that contributed to Columbine in relation to the personalities of the two shooters, and also addresses some of the common
misconceptions about the event. In contrast, Klinghoffer focuses on one particular aspect of the event (the use of the phrase “natural selection”) and leads the reader to the conclusion that this is responsible for the breakdown of morality overall and, by association, school shootings.
Why is this dangerous? Because it obscures the conclusions that can prevent further Columbines in our schools. From the FBI recommendation report
(http://www.fbi.gov/publications/school/school2.pdf):
“School shootings and other forms of school violence are not just a school’s problem or a law enforcement problem. They involve schools, families, and the communities. An
adolescent comes to school with a collective life experience, both positive and negative, shaped by the environments of family, school, peers, community, and culture. Out of that collective experience come values, prejudices, biases, emotions, and the student’s responses to training, stress, and authority. His or her behavior at school is affected by the entire range of experiences and influences. No one factor is decisive. By the same token, however, no one factor is completely without effect, which means that when a student has shown signs of potential violent behavior, schools and other community institutions do have the capacity — and the responsibility — to keep that potential from turning real.”
(This report is a remarkable document in its own right and well worth reading.)
Even if the vast majority of parents and educators recognize the weaknesses of Klinghoffer’s reasoning, school shootings involve specific individuals in specific school boards. If a school board views Columbine as an issue of morals, they are potentially less likely to observe the other signs of psychopathic behavior that may signal a Columbine in the making. This is especially important considering that some of the recommended responses for school shootings are not intuitive – many people assume that shooters are “loners”, for example, when in fact they broadcast clues well in advance and a community sensitivity to such clues has stopped potential catastrophes in the 10 years since Columbine. Dave Cullen (again) has another recent article at http://www.slate.com/id/2216122/.
If the best legacy of the Columbine victims is the knowledge we have gained from the event that helps protect our children now, then Klinghoffer is not only doing them a disservice, but potentially contributing to the problem by twisting and obscuring the facts and recommendations that are our best defence.



report abuse
 

CapeCoddah

posted April 21, 2009 at 10:54 am


Mr. Klinghoffer needs to step away from the bong… immediately. This article is so ridiculous, it is not even worthy of comment. Mr. Klinghoffer is a fool.



report abuse
 

bjedwards

posted April 21, 2009 at 12:05 pm


This article is actually an example of how people hiding behind religion will go to misrepresent truth and reality.
But it should not escape anyone’s attention how David Klinghoffer actually stuck his foot in his mouth and destroyed his case when he wrote the following statement:
“When one of the assailants, Eric Harris, was autopsied, the medical examiner found that under his black trench coat the boy had on a white t-shirt emblazoned with a peculiar slogan. The slogan was “Natural Selection.” It was later reported but little commented upon that, on his website, Harris had written, among other paeans to the Darwinian mechanism, “Natural SELECTION!!!!!! God damn it’s the best thing that ever happened to the earth. Getting rid of all the stupid and weak organisms…but it’s all natural!!! YES!”"
David Klinghoffer forgot one crucial fact. In his effort to associate “natural selection” with the mindset that produces an Eric Harris, Klinghoffer did the exact opposite.
It doesn’t escape our attention that Eric Harris was NOT actually representing “natural selection” in any truthful way whatsoever. Eric Harris was ACTUALLY stating what the Creationist, fundamentalist factions like David Klighoffer have been telling their flocks for decades of what THEY claim “natural selection” means.
It is rather ironic – and telling – that David Harris actually repeated the misrepresentation and lies about “natural selection” that religious “leaders” have been teaching.
The full extent of the immorality of those like Klinghoffer is laid bare for all to see. Spread this article far and wide.



report abuse
 

CodeSculptor

posted April 21, 2009 at 1:52 pm


The woman (Marie Moore) that shot her son in the head at a shooting range before killing herself with the same gun said that God and the Devil were talking to her.
Anthony Powell ranted at length about how he loved Jesus and thought that atheists were tools of the devil, if not the devil. Oh, and he just killed a girl at his school and killed himself.
And the killer of Sandra Cantu was a Sunday School Teacher.
The lady (Linda Hockaday, 51) that left a disabled passenger on the bus in New York during the winter just so she could get to church! She noticed the guy was sleeping, and knew he had cerebal palsy, so she left him, to be found 17 hours later!
Why do people ascribe any credibility to people that pervert concepts they don’t even remotely understand. The Columbine killers didn’t understand Darwin. And the people who think that Natural Selection involves any weapons at all is clearly ignorant and or lying.
Eric Harris’ diary has “I blew off his head. I am God… he died” which is consistent with the capricious old-testament God who would kill first-borns and drown newborns and children en-masse at a whim, or order people to drive an awl through someone’s ear into a door to mark them as your property.
Natural Selection has nothing to do with strong nor weak nor powerful nor intelligent — nor does evolution. Dinosaurs were strong and viruses and bacteria are not intelligent, but they are evolving far more quickly than humans.
If the idea of evolution, itself, leads to some people doing evil, does that mean that the idea itself is in any way impugned? Clearly we can say the same for Christianity and Religion in general.



report abuse
 

RevAaron

posted April 21, 2009 at 2:23 pm


That this sort of filth could ever be considered respectable analysis brings me much sadness. It’s as intellectually and journalistically responsible as saying Hitler killed the Jews because he was Catholic, or that TeleTubbies will make your children homosexual.
CapeCoddah hit the nail on the head, unfortunately.



report abuse
 

Glen Davidson

posted April 21, 2009 at 2:46 pm


If one were to judge anti-evolution by its output of superficial “analysis” and outright nonsense, one would immediately judge it to be a complete disaster, intellectually.
Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/6mb592



report abuse
 

rs

posted April 21, 2009 at 5:39 pm


Good article, although brief. Sadly it’s hip to attack religious people so most reader will ignore the valid points.



report abuse
 

bjedwards

posted April 21, 2009 at 5:43 pm


rs,
Feel free to list and defend any “valid” points in the article.



report abuse
 

gall0wsp0le

posted April 21, 2009 at 6:01 pm


Articles like this are why the media is so eager to pronounce the death of the political right. Vapid, devoid of logic, barely coherent, appeals to emotion, and completely without honesty. Social Darwinism is a pseudo-philosophy apart from and unrelated to evolution, which is a scientific theory having nothing to do with philosophy or spirituality.
The Christian Right does not care for spiritual things. It cares for worldly goods and status, and it cares not what lies it has to tell to obtain them. This article is firm proof of that.



report abuse
 

David Klinghoffer

posted April 21, 2009 at 6:30 pm


I hope everyone who comments will take a moment to read my Reply to Readers: http://blog.beliefnet.com/kingdomofpriests/2009/04/more-on-darwins-tree-of-death.html



report abuse
 

Kurt C.

posted April 21, 2009 at 7:56 pm


To me, it is inaccurate to attribute crazy people to the ideas that they mouth in this case but it is no more crazy than people who attribute the Nazi horrors to Christianity. And sadly, there are some people who do that.



report abuse
 

Mayokitty

posted April 21, 2009 at 11:45 pm


Dylan’s shirt had ‘Wrath’ printed on it, and it has been confirmed that he WAS a believer. Is ‘Wrath’ not one of your seven deadly sins?
He wrote in his journal that he wished to kill himself and the others around him, and through death he would finally be with Jesus and God.
Nice try.



report abuse
 

Mark Stevens

posted April 22, 2009 at 10:42 am


From the chief of the Village of the Idiots. The header should read, “This is your brain on religion”.



report abuse
 

bjedwards

posted April 22, 2009 at 3:46 pm


David Klinghoffer wrote…
“I hope everyone who comments will take a moment to read my Reply to Readers: http://blog.beliefnet.com/kingdomofpriests/2009/04/more-on-darwins-tree-of-death.html
What, while you conveniently ignore your intellectual dishonesty, David?
Amazing.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted April 22, 2009 at 8:27 pm


Matthew: 7: 21,22&23, Jesus said: Not everyone who professes to be a believer is really telling the truth. There are people who claim to be true believers who have never accepted Jesus. They do not do the will of their Father in Heaven. Instead they practice iniquity! Many people are deceived and will twist the meaning of words to fit their own perverted perceptions. In this case the word Wrath written on a shirt. Also satan loves to deceive and pervert the minds of those who are not true believers. There are none so blind as those who will not see!



report abuse
 

James kelly

posted August 7, 2009 at 2:35 pm


Darwin never advocated natural selection as a philosophy for human beings to live by. Do you judge Darwin by those who are stupid enough to act like animals?
If we’re talkin’ murder and genocide here religion wins in any credible comparison with atheism or misconceptions of Darwin’s natural selection for the animal kingdom.
By the way Kara Neumann’s parents killed their own daughter by the peity of their beliefs. What we need is less blind faith and more critical thinking. Religion definately isn’t conducive to critical thinking as your blog shows.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted August 7, 2009 at 3:48 pm


James Kelly:
In chapters 5 and 6 of “The Descent of Man” Darwin wrote that it was inevitable that the more highly evolved races would exterminate tjhe less highly, eg non-European races. And the biggest mass murderers in history, Stalin and Mao, were atheists.



report abuse
 

Gabriel Hanna

posted August 7, 2009 at 7:42 pm


ID cut-and-paste lie, exhibit 527:
In chapters 5 and 6 of “The Descent of Man” Darwin wrote that it was inevitable that the more highly evolved races would exterminate tjhe less highly, eg non-European races.
The REAL quote:
At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world.
This is a PREDICTION, not a PRESCRIPTION. White people killed non-white people all over the world right up through the 1940s. Nowhere does Darwin say this is DESIRABLE. He merely says that is happening.
Were the New World Spanish “Darwinists”? Was it Darwinists enslaving and killing Indians throughout the Americas? Was it “Darwinists” who enslaved Africans? Since slavery, in the Americas, ENDED a few years after Origin of Species came out, how can you blame Darwin’s observation on the last 500 years for what happened long before he was born and continued after his death?
And the biggest mass murderers in history, Stalin and Mao, were atheists.
Who rejected “Darwinism” and sent “Darwinists” to die in Gulag.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysenkoism
Meanwhile, who was responsible for slavery, witch trials, Inquisition, medieval pogroms, jihad…
Not atheists, and not “Darwinists”.



report abuse
 

Darius

posted September 2, 2010 at 10:09 am


You state that the “youth also posted videos on YouTube” but YouTube was not created until 2005, so that would have been impossible, right?



report abuse
 

Duke

posted January 1, 2012 at 7:41 pm


It is unfortunate that the writer is offended by reality. Still, one should not forget that the nazis were christian. The ss had “gott mit unser” on their belt buckles. I wonder if we actually counted up the deaths caused by confused interpretations of Darwin’s theories, how would they stack up against he number of people killed for religious belief?



report abuse
 

Pingback: Death tree | Selfbuildusa

Pingback: Colorado Shooter James Holmes & Darwin | The Sensuous Curmudgeon

Pingback: Religie/darwinisme gebruikt als argument voor (slechte) daad | Het design in de natuur

Pingback: Hey, Klinghoffer: This Is Your Moment! | The Sensuous Curmudgeon

Pingback: Darwin, Evolution, & the Boston Bombing | The Sensuous Curmudgeon

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

Another Blog To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Kingdom of Priests. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Kabballah Counseling Happy Reading!

posted 11:24:22am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Animal Wisdom: The Voice of the Serpent
Our family watched Jaws together the other evening -- which, in case you're wondering, I regard as responsible parenting since our kids are basically too young to be genuinely scared by the film. The whole rest of the next day, two-year-old Saul was chattering about the "shark teeth." "Shark teeth g

posted 3:56:33pm Mar. 16, 2010 | read full post »

Reading Wesley Smith: Why the Darwin Debate Matters
If the intelligent-design side in the evolution debate doesn't receive the support you might expect from people who should be allies, that may be because they haven't grasped why the whole thing matters so urgently. I got an email recently from a journalist whom I'd queried on the subject. "All told

posted 5:07:12pm Mar. 15, 2010 | read full post »

The Mission of the Jews
Don't miss my essay over at First Things on the mission of the Jews to the world. This, I think, the key idea that the Jewish community needs to absorb at this very unusual cultural moment, for the time is so, so right. Non-Jews are waiting for us to fulfill the roll God gave us in the Torah. Please

posted 6:14:16pm Mar. 05, 2010 | read full post »

Darwin at the Mountains of Madness: Evolution & the Occult
Of all the regrettable cultural forces that Darwinism helped unleash, perhaps the most surprising and seemingly unlikely is its role in sparking the creation of modern occultism. Charles Darwin himself could not have been less interested in the topic. But no attempt to assess the scope of his legacy

posted 2:04:11pm Mar. 04, 2010 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.